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The huge gift means a lot to the Inner Southeast youth grief treatment facility on 52nd

DAVID F. ASHTON - Local New York Life representative Kimberly Wuepper Rudick presents the ceremonial check to Dougy Center Executive Director Brennan Wood, and Board Chair Ashleigh Gunter. The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families – long based in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood on S.E. 52nd Avenue, just south of Foster Road – has survived a devastating fire, and other setbacks over the years.

And, the organization continues to thrive – thanks to the support of their volunteers, and financial sustenance from bequests, donations, and grants. The innovative Center now shares their model of care through training locally, nationally, and internationally, assisting individuals and organizations seeking to help children in grief.

On January 29, The Dougy Center learned they'd be getting big boost from the New York Life Foundation – a $1 million grant to be received in thirds, over the next three years.

"This grant will fund program development trainings, scholarships, and a best-practices manual that will help share our Center's model that emphasizes peer grief support – in which children and teens share their experiences through play, art, talking, and other activities," explained Dougy Center Board Chair Ashleigh Gunter – while accepting the "big check" on Friday evening, February 8.

"While we're headquartered and host our support groups right here in Inner Southeast Portland, this grant will allow us to share our model more broadly; so, we're really excited about it," Gunter told THE BEE. "In addition to being able to more widely share our message and methods, this grant validates the model that we have worked so hard on over the years."

During the brief ceremony in the Center's "living room", Dougy Center Executive Director Brennan Wood reminded the gathered supporters, "Our mission is to ensure that no child grieves alone; anything that enables us to serve more children is at the top of our priority list!"

After the check presentation, local New York Life representative Kimberly Wuepper Rudick commented, "This is a 'passion project' of our company, as we strive to support our communities."

To learn more about The Dougy Center, go online – www.dougy.org

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